Paramedicine major: Bachelor of Health Science

Kurt Golding
Student Profile – Kurt Golding

For Kurt Golding, a first-aid course quickly turned into an interest in paramedicine and a new career as a paramedic for St John in Tauranga. Read more of Kurt’s story

Paramedics are the backbone of services such as the emergency ambulance services run by St John and Wellington Free Ambulance, as well as the rotary wing rescue services, such as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. Paramedics often work independently in remote or difficult environments, isolated from other health professionals. The critical, often complex decision-making required of a paramedic is developed in AUT's paramedicine degree through the clincial practice, clinical reasoning and intergrated clinical practice papers.
AUT is the only university in New Zealand to offer the BHSc degree in paramedicine. This degree is offered at the AUT South Campus in Manukau.

Entry to AUT's paramedicine degree is limited and well sought after. You benefit from our interprofessional learning from staff who are intensive-care paramedics, emergency nurses, defence force medics, midwives, medical specialists and emergency management specialists.

As part of your paramedicine degree you complete over 1,100 clinical hours of clinical placement (about a third of the programme), based in settings such as ambulance services, hospitals, mental health institutions, ski fields, and community or primary health centres. At the successful completion of the paramedicine degree you meet the requirements to apply for the Intermediate Life Support (ILS) Paramedic scope of practice.

Applicants who hold ambulance, nursing or military medicine qualifications are eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning and a part-time study pathway. A full clean drivers licence and a good level of physical fitness is required.

Application process for this major

Bachelor of Health Science: degree outline

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online


Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this qualification, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

Year 1

You will learn the fundamental basics and understandings of the human body, how to research information for an essay, and introduction to paramedic practice and the human factors involved in risk management. In your second semester you will have clinical placements on patient transfer ambulances, at a rest home and at a public or private A&E clinic.

Core papers
HEAL504 Lifespan Development and Communication
HEAL505 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment OR MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment

Core paramedicine papers

PARA602 Introduction to Paramedic Practice
HEAL609 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Year 2

You develop further theory and skills applicable to paramedicine practice with an emphasis on cardiology and managing patients with altered haemodynamics (resuscitation, defibrillation, 12 Lead ECG, intravenous access and drug therapy). In addition there is integration of pharmacology and research methods relevant to paramedics.

Papers (core or compulsory)
HEAL610 Methods of Research and Enquiry
PHMY701 Pharmacology for Professional Practice
PARA601 Paramedic Science
PARA604 Clinical Practice I
PARA605 Clinical Practice II
PARA606 Haemodynamics in the Acute Patient
PARA706 Cardiology 
PARA603 Pre-Hospital Clinical Assessment

Year 3

You apply skills learned in the previous years to develop safe, integrated clinical paramedicine practice incorporating resuscitation, ambulance operations, pre-hospital mental health, primary care and health law. The focus is to prepare you for employment as a practising paramedic.

Clinical placements
There are significant emergency ambulance clinical placements throughout this year to ensure you are work ready. These placements require you to be mobile and able to work shifts.

Papers (core or compulsory)
HLAW701 Health Law & Policy
PARA709 Clinical Reasoning
PARA708 Paramedic Theory and Management 
PARA701 Pre-hospital Mental Health
PARA702 Ambulance Operations
PARA703 Integrated Clinical Practice
PARA704 Clinical Risk Management 
PARA705 Paramedic Primary Health Care

Te Ara Hauora Māori papers

Students who wish to seek careers with a Māori development perspective should select the following 4 papers as electives or as an alternative course of study.
MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment (instead of HEAL507Health and Environment)
MAOH701 Māori Health Promotion
MAOH702 Applied Primary Māori Mental Health
HEAL710 Utlising Supervision in Practice

We will support Te Ara Hauora Māori students to form relationships with Māori health providers, industry stakeholders and communities, and AUT Māori staff and students.

Career opportunities

  • Paramedic
  • International relief work
  • Emergency manager in the corporate sector
  • Safety services and emergency management roles
  • Working in an environment where out-of-hospital emergency care may be required, such as frontline ambulances, oil rigs, industrial sites, ski fields, defence forces and repatriation services

Graduates and students of health science

Other courses you may be interested in

Last updated: 12-Sep-2016 11.15am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.